For those who haven’t heard, earlier this month, Haiti was ravaged by an earthquake registering a 7.0 on the Richter Scale. That means Haitians were rocked by the equivalent of 199,000 tons of TNT. Roughly three million people, one third of Haiti’s population were affected and over 100,000 have been confirmed as casualties.
Now, in the wake of this country’s horrible tragedy, America’s biggest celebrities are asking for your help. They are taking time out of their busy schedule of being self indulgent and irresponsible to be pompous and holier-than-thou, and good for them, because they so rarely get a chance to stop making ludicrous amounts of money and tell the rest of us that it’s time for change.
Ben Affleck, Daniel Craig, Steven Spielberg and Mark Wahlberg (F-F-F-FEEL THE DONATION!) are among the many celebrities that took part in a telethon that will help to aid Haiti’s relief.
George Clooney donated $1 million, and helped to kick start the aforementioned telethon. Leonardo Dicaprio donated $1 million. Madonna has donated $250,000. From June 2008 to June 2009, Madonna brought in $110 million. That is more money than the majority of Americans will see in their entire lives.
To put this in perspective, President Obama earns $400,00 a year plus various expense accounts. Please read that last sentence again and compare the earnings of the leader of the greatest country in the free world to the “Material Girl.”
Kudos to irrelevant pop culture icon Wyclef Jean’s “Yele Haiti Foundation,” which has been around since 1998, and is currently receiving upwards of $1 million a day to help with relief in Haiti.
Odd though that the organization has paid Jean and his business partner $410,000 for rent, services rendered and for a performance by Jean at a benefit concert. What’s even more curious is the fact that the group only started filing tax returns in August 2009. Hmm.
Alternatively, John Travolta flew his personal jet to Haiti and offered relief in the form of Scientology. Members offered a service that they call “assist,” a way of touching that allegedly reconnects nervous systems shaken by trauma. Haitians should count themselves lucky since their airport can only handle 130 flights a day and one of those flights happened to be carrying none other than Danny Zuko and his Christ-like healing touch.
It is admirable that these celebrities are using their fame, nay notoriety, for the seemingly greater good, but when our nation is faced with an unemployment rate of ten percent, is asking Americans to break out the Amex and throw some sheckles at Haiti really fair?
Shouldn’t this small echelon of people have some cadre formed by now where they can use their vast wealth, their ridiculous wealth, their accumulated wealth that makes God feel bad about leaving his ATM receipt at the bar for women to find, feel shameful for the greater good?
Great, Clooney donated $1 million. You were still the worst Batman, sir, and your villa that you don’t even occupy costs $6.4 million. We’re all very impressed. Combined, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated $1 million. She probably just thought she was buying a little Haitian child.
These great people, these amazing denizens of the world would like you, yes you, the average American citizen to be a part of something great. They would like you to join them in their self-aggrandizing glory by taking a minute out of your busy day hawking products overseas and making thousands for personal appearances to help out with a worthy cause. Won’t you please help?
Bj Grieve is a City Times staff writer